A sample of photos from Estonia in May 2010
Photos by Niklas Holmström, arranged in chronological order

Itinerary: 14th: Pöösaspea, Silma Nature Reserve and Sutlepa Melä; 15th: Pöösaspea, Nova, Veskijärvi and Silma area; 16th: Pöösaspea, Spithami-Nova, Matsalu, Pangari-Sassi and Dagö; 17th: Ristna (Dagö) and surroundings; 18th: Ristna, Sörv and Saaremaa; 19th: (Saaremaa) Undva Pank, Loode, Mutulla, Murika; 20th: Undva Pank, Muhu, Virtsu and Pivarootsi; 21st: Virtsu, Tuhu Matharada, Matsula and Bergsbyn; 22nd: Pöösaspea and Silma area and late afternoon ferry to Sweden.
Participants: Jan Cronlund, Anders "Ante" Eriksson and Niklas Holmström, Sweden
Sightings: In total we recorded 173 bird species. Worthy of mention is Montagu's Harrier (several), Hazel Grouses, Black Grouses, Capercaillie, Three-toed Woodpecker, Kentish Plover (third for Estonia), Savi's Warbler (4 at Sutlepa Melä), Greenish Warbler (7), Great Reed Warbler (fairly common), Red-breasted Flycatcher (2 singing), Collared Flycatcher (1), Golden Oriole (3), Serin (1), Parrot Crossbill (1). Chiffchaffs, Cuckoos and Rosefinches were very common, which was nice indeed.
Counting results:
Ristna 17th:Red-throated Diver (23), Arctic Diver (239), White-billed Diver (1 in excellent light conditions), Common Scoter (5470) and Long-tailed Duck (540).
Ristna 18th: Red-throated Diver (44), Arctic Diver (444), Common Scoter (6850), Long-tailed Duck (420) and Arctic Skua (3).
Virtsu 20th (11:30-13:00 and18:40-21:40): Barnacle Geese (2250), Common Scoter (4560), Long-tailed Duck (8500), Greater Scaup (359), Velvet Scoter (77) and Arctic Skua (17).
Virtsu 21st (05:00-09:00): Arctic Diver (1410), Red-throated Diver (558), Gavia sp (254), Barnacle Geese (2665), Common Scoter (4930), Velvet Scoter (33), Long-tailed Duck (270), Greater Scaup (54) and Arctic Skua (2).
Pöösaspea 22nd (05:00-10:00): Arctic Diver (388), Red-throated Diver (1214), Barnacle Geese (1159), Common Scoter (4310), Velvet Scoter (61), Long-tailed Duck (400) and Greater Scaup (42).

Three hardcore birders from Sweden on the ferry to Tallinn! At last, after so many years of dreams counting and experience the spectacular waterfowl migration named Arktikan. From left: Niklas, Ante and Janne.
Shopping food in Haapsalu. Same same, but different, as in Sweden. Some groceries, such as heavy and dark bread were incredible cheap compared to Sweden.
The huge birdwatching tower at Haapsalu. From where we saw five White-tailed Eagles!
Part of the old and easy-going city Haapsalu. We had tasty and spicy pizzas on two occasions at Pizza Grande seen to the right.
Ante enjoying a medium-sized beer at Haapsalu...
....as the local bar on the countryside were closed for the season.
Pöösaspea in the evening on 14th. Unfortunately, calm weather conditions, quite bad light and a rather disturbing haze
Three Swedes at Pöösaspea, which in fact is best in autumn, but high numbers of divers passing in spring too.
Janne and Ante in our nice accommodatin at Bergsbyn, where we stayed for two nights in the beginning as well as the last night before the return. Arne the owner are a very kind and helpful guy and speaking swedish too.
Dawn at Pöösaspea.
A keen birder always start scanning the sea while the sun rise above the horizon.
The bay and tip west of Pöösaspea.
Fire-ravaged woodland at Veskijärvi. A hot site for Three-toed Woodpecker, as one could tell by the peeled off bark on the trees.
At Veskijärvi we recorded two nice Three-toed Woodpeckers, Black Grouses, displaying Wood Larks and Wrynecks.
A lovely bog at Veskijärvi, where we saw many Black Grouses.
Soaring Cranes at Saare Lyckholm.
White Storks in their huge nest at Saare Lyckholm.
Part of Sutlepa Melä.
Part of the very nice foot-bridge through the Sutlepa Melä area, where you easily hear singing Great Reed Warbler and Savi’s Warbler.
Janne and Ante checking the beach for shorebirds at Havari.
Niklas and the lovely dog Pecko at Bergsbyn.
A silent monument from the Russian occupation at Spithami.
No problem to find yourself in the Nova area if one got problem with a regular map(-reader;-)
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Mäemöisa (close to Haapsalu).
Our very nice and luxurious accommodation at Puumametsa, located only 5 minutes from the observation point at Ristna (Hiiumaa/Dagö).
Interior of the house, which also contain a sauna and a total of eight bedrooms!
Breakfast in the very nice and spacious living-room.
The hots-spot Ristna, which is the westernmost tip of Hiiumaa (Dagö). An exceptional good spot for migrating Common Scoters and we counted 5470 before the fog arrived.
The Finnish birders Peter Uppstu and Päivi Sirki at Ristna.
Common Scoters passed by close to the tip.
Ristna in early morning light.
On this morning of 18th we noted Red-throated Diver (44), Arctic Diver (444), Common Scoter (6850), Long-tailed Duck (420) and Arctic Skua (3).
Cemeterry at Kassari, southern part of Hiiumaa (Dagö).
A sunbathing Common Lizzard.
Nice grazed wetlands at Kassari.
Small and beautiful Bird's-eye Primrose at Kassari.
A nice Black-tailed Godwit at Käina laht.
Hardcore birders in action at Ristna...
...and Janne taking a power nap in his own personal style.
The southern beach of Ristna.
The lighthouse at Ristna embedded in fog.
A nice wooden house on the beach at Ristna.
Small Pasque Flowers were common at Ristna.
Loode Tourism Farm with silent and lovely surroundings located on the northwestern part of Saaremaa (Ösel).
The main house of Loode Tourism Farm. We rented a room uppstairs. Highly recommended accommodation!
Beautiful meadows with Cowslips is typical for Saaremaa and western Estonia!
Interior of the main house.
The cosy dining-room.
Three happy birders that just have finished a delicate fish dinner!
Seawatching at Undva Pank at dawn, just before the fog appeared.
Migrating Barnacle Geese at Undva Pank.
View from Undva Pank towards the northwesternmost tip of Saaremaa, Metsaküla.
An extensive sandy beach at Murika on the northern part of Saaremaa. There were lots of shorebirds, but private property and not accessible.
A lovely Grass snake at Murika.
Nice church on the northern part of Saaremaa.
Ante and his favourite brand of Estonian beer.
A beautiful woodland at Loode Oak Wood Reserve.
Close up of beautiful Cowslips.
Seawatchers or unlucky bastards, always at the wrong place and one day behind (strait between Saaremaa and Muhu). Heat vawe in Estonia!
While waiting for the ferry to cross the strait to Virtsu we noted several Arctic Skuas and a beautiful adult Pomarine Skua of light phase, which also settled on sea for a couple of minutes.
Janne scanning the sea from the ferry. Virtsu in far background.
Virtsu lighthouse visible between the wind power stations. This is the well-knowned seawatching site of Virtsu, where remarkable numbers of waterfowl passing in mid May..
Just checking the site in afternoon before being on the hunt for accommodation for the night.
Finally after sveral phone calls we managed to get a small cottage at Pivarootsi windmill. A lovely and peacefull area with Golden Orioles.
Who knows for sure what Ante is thinking about?
Early morning at Virtsu. Two days after the great peak of Long-tailed Ducks, Common and Velvet Scoters.
Barnacle Geese.
Common Scoters and a few Velvet Scoters.
Long-tailed Ducks passing overhead in nice formations.
Ante and Janne scanning the area at Tuhu Matkarada and we were rewarded with a Black Stork!
Part of the large Matsula reserve.
Part of the large Matsula reserve.
Last morning at Pöösaspea.
Niklas cover the overhead angle where lot of divers passed by.
Red-throated Divers and a single Black-throated in the middle.
Red-throated Divers. Results from the counting at Pöösaspea on 22nd May (05:00-10:00): Arctic Diver (388) and Red-throated Diver (1214).
Two Little Gulls (adult and 3cal year) passinge overhead at Pöösaspea.
The very new information board about Pöösaspea as great spot for passage migrants.
All photos by Niklas Holmström